Perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end of a phone call where someone is trying to sell you something. Aside from the fact that it’s annoying to be solicited at home, you may find yourself miffed by a sales pitch that seems to drag on and on, with the caller speaking so fast that you can’t get a word in edgewise. You might not be the type to talk over another person, hang up on them, or otherwise behave in a rude manner, but the longer they go on talking the less interested you are in buying whatever it is they’re selling. The problem here is that most adults lead extremely busy lives and operate on constant information overload thanks to unparalleled connectivity to the outside world via electronic devices. So not only do people not have time to listen to an in-depth sales pitch, they also have no mental room to assimilate scads of information, even if it happens to pertain to something they care about. In ‘Small Message, Big Impact: The Elevator Speech Effect’, business consultant Terri Sjodin offers advice on how to communicate in a way that is compelling, authentic, and most importantly, concise.
Making a business pitch is rather like an art form, and one that requires considerable skill and practice to pull off effectively. Anyone who has been subjected to a bad pitch can probably enumerate the errors that occurred, from a failure to impart key information to a deathly dull demeanor. But the biggest issue for most people is a presentation that drags on and on, with increasing levels of desperation on the part of the speaker as he/she realizes that the audience (i.e. you) is no longer listening. This is bad enough to witness, but when you happen to be the one on the podium it’s even worse.
According to Sjodin, this situation can be avoided simply by mastering the art of the elevator speech, a quick-pitch technique that gets its name from the idea that it could be delivered in full during the course of a short elevator trip (as in you find yourself in the elevator with the head of the company one day and you have approximately 30 seconds to casually outline the idea that could make or break your career). Along these lines, Sjodin relates six strategies for crafting effective arguments, as well as offering tips to imbue even short messages with the impact needed to make them memorable and compelling. And while she urges listeners to be themselves when delivering a pitch, she also relates the importance of rehearsing so that you don’t freeze up when you’re on the spot.
Operating in the business arena will give you all kinds of opportunities to interact with people who have the power to advance your career. And whether you meet with them officially in the office setting or you happen to bump into them here and there as you go about your daily routine, you need to be prepared to deliver your message in an engaging manner that won’t put people off. Sjodin can help you to do this with ‘Small Message, Big Impact’, an audio book that deliver the tips and tricks that will carry your message through the everyday clutter and help you to get the results you’re seeking.